In the latest update of Cyclone Phailin, the Indian Meteorological Department issued a flood warning to Bihar as the progression of the storm is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of Kosi and Gandak rivers
The MeT also confirmed that now Andhra Pradesh is out of danger
Updating the advancement of Cyclone Phailin, Director General of the MeT Department, L.S. Rathore, said that the storm is presently 50 kilometers south of Sambalpur, and will head towards Bihar within the next 48 hours
“Bihar will catch up with rainfall in 48 hours, and then it will move onto the Nepal area, the Himalayan region, which means the catchments of the rivers running into Bihar will get a good amount of runoff,” Rathore said
“Since, there will be a lot of rains in the plains of Bihar, which will be followed by the runoff from Kosi, Gandak, so, that is suitably warned,” he added
Rathore also said that the sub-Himalayan West Bengal region is likely to witness heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next 48 hours.
Jharkhand is also expected to witness heavy rains for the next 36 hours, the IMD chief said
In Odisha rain is expected to continue—ranging from heavy to very heavy—for another 24 hours.
The landfall took place at around 9.15 p.m. on Saturday night and the impact of the cyclone lasted for over seven hours before it moved in a north-northwesterly direction
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been briefed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth about the impact of Cyclone Phailin and his office is continuously monitoring the situation arising out of it
Dr. Singh has directed that all possible assistance should be extended to the two state governments concerned in ensuring the safety and security of the people and in relief and rescue operations
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Saturday that at least eight districts of Odisha had faced the brunt of the cyclone, while three districts of Andhra Pradesh namely Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam were affected
About 26 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in Odisha, along with three on standby. In Andhra Pradesh, there are 15 teams of the NDRF, with additional two on standby
The Army has deployed an engineering task force, six composite relief units, four columns in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The Air Force, on its part, has put in place frontline C-17 Globemasters, C-130 J Super Hercules and IL-76 transport planes to Odisha to carry out relief operations. The Indian Air Force can move into the affected areas by Sunday afternoon to speed up the relief operations. Strong winds blowing currently do not permit air operations
The Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy has assumed the highest degree of readiness to render all necessary humanitarian assistance
Two Indian Naval ships, including the Landing Platform Dock INS Jalashwa are standing by to proceed with dispatch to the most affected areas of Odisha in the cyclone's aftermath
INS Jalashwa, the second largest combatant of the Indian Navy, is ideally equipped to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support and hospital ship operations
Both the ships are poised with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material that include food, tentage, clothes, medicines, blankets etc, in quantities sufficient to sustain over 5000 personnel for three days
Six advance diving teams with inflatable boats, rescue material and satellite communication have left for Odisha by road and will operate from INS Chilka, 50 km north of Gopalapatnam, where the cyclone is expected to make landfall
These personnel will be assisted by four platoons from the local naval station and doctors from INHS Nivarini in their rescue and relief efforts
The Eastern Naval Command is monitoring the developments closely and is in constant communication with the state administration to augment rescue and relief operations
Six helicopters are standing by at the Naval Air Station INS Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded
Additionally, the telecom department has also prepared itself to ensure that communication links are stable during the expected disaster.